|Once again it will be 'Cats vs Cowboys|
After a two year break the Linfield Wildcats and Hardin-Simmons Cowboys have renewed their series with a fresh deal over the next two seasons. The 'Cats and Cowboys played for four consecutive seasons starting in 2006 with each squad holding serve at home with HSU drawing first blood in a 21-6 2006 victory. 2007 saw Linfield and the Cowboys have an old fashion shootout in the 'Catdome with Linfield taking the 54-42 victory. The 2008 edition saw the game go down to the wire as a Linfield rally was turned back in a last minute drive to down Linfield 29-22 back in Texas. Finally, the last time these team faced off was in the 'Catdome in 2009 when Linfield put the Cowboys on ice 37-22. These games have been intense, highly competitive, and contests that sent one team shooting up the D3 ladder and the other stumbling for the remainder of the season. This Saturday is a big game for Linfield.
The Cowboys are coming into Saturday reeling after getting blitzed by Willamette 58-34 in the Cowboys season opener. Some in the 'Catdome might be thinking to themselves "Oh, if Willamette did HSU like that then we should roll." That would be foolish line of thinking to buy into. The Willamette and HSU game was the 3rd consecutive season those teams played and Willamette obviously had a handle of the Cowboys schemes. On the flip side, Willamette was entering the game with a major schematic advantage over HSU. The Bearcats have been saying they'll be using the fly with a twist throughout the spring and summer. HSU was going into that game blind on the defensive side of the ball. What Willamette rolled out was brand new uptempo passing offense that had left the 'Cowboys scrambling to the tune of giving up over 700 yards of offense. Credit to Willamette for being the first NWC school to win in Abiliene but HSU didn't have the book on the Bearcats. You also need to take into consideration that HSU did rally and get the game within 10 in the 4th quarter before Willamette was able to put it away.
What I'm getting at is if you think HSU is some cream puff that's going to roll over in the 'Catdome then you would be mistaken. I have to imagine a program as proud as Hardin-Simmons has to feel disgusted with last weekend and are fully focused on getting that taste out of their mouth. Knocking off #5 Linfield would go a long way to put this past Saturday behind them. If the 'Cats come into this game asleep at the wheel and are sloppy the Cowboys are a team capable of knocking off Linfield.
For our 'Cats this is another major test and a chance to correct some ills from last weekend that held Linfield back from playing at a level in all three phases this program is accustom. The 'Cats will need to take the next step forward in eliminating those errors that keep Linfield from putting more points on the board and breathing life into the opposition. Even with some of the rough spots you had to be excited to see what might be possible for this 2012 Linfield team. We have an incredible fast defense that is ball hawking every play, an offensive line that played very sound out of the gate, and offensive weapons with the ability to make plays every time they touch the ball. It's just a matter of firing on all cylinders.
Get To Know A Wildcat
#25 Tim Edmonds, Linebacker, Junior
Favorite place in Mac to eat: On special occasions, my favorite place to eat would certainly be the Hotel Oregon, Mcmenamins restaurant. Where I enjoy an appetizer of Buffalo wings, and an entry of the Captain Neon Burger and fries.
Favorite Movie: There is no one movie for me. I’m a die-hard fan of the Star Wars Saga, which I have been watching for as long as I can remember.
Favorite Music: Voted “Best taste in music” my eighth grade year, listening to 90’s alternative rock. Though I listen to many other genres, I will always refer to these as my favorites.
Favorite TV show: American Pickers. Those guys are always off on adventures searching and seeking out what most people call trash. They call treasure.
Favorite Pro Football team: Green Bay Packers. Born and raised a Packer. Go Pack Go!
Class I most look forward to: Football, 5 days a week, 3:00 to 6:00pm in the Catdome!
MAC or PC: Mac for sure. Wouldn’t have it any other way!
What do you use more Smart phone or CPU: Definitely will always find me on my Smart phone if I got nothing else going on. Quick, and accurate!
Twitter or Facebook: I’d say neither, but I just started a facebook and enjoy the social networking.
Car or Truck: I own a 95’ Black Honda Accord, but would certainly prefer a big ol’ Dodge Ram Super Cab 2500.
Xbox, ps3, or wii: Not a big gamer, I really enjoy my time spent outside. Xbox is a nice multiple use system though!
Favorite Rombach saying: “LOUD NOISES!!!”
Linebacker with the best and worst sense of style: I will be honest here.... I myself have swagger, along with my boy Dominique Forrest. While Tyler Robitaille is still working on catching up.
Do you have a hidden talent that folks would be surprised by: I have been playing the Drums since 5th grade. In middle school I played in two bands, which my last band played a gig for 50 friends in my garage. I continue to play for fun.
Your favorite part about playing at Linfield is: Men of Action. The feeling I get when I step on that field and know that I’m not alone. There is a pack of men around me all fighting their own challenges, but when we step on the field together we fight for one goal and one purpose. Linfield football is built under four pillars of concrete characterists in which we all thrive to withhold in our lives. No better feeling.
Post Linfield aspirations: I’d love to keep going in the sport I love! I love this game and what it has done for my life to give up on it quite yet. I plan on getting hooked up across seas and play for a few more years till I hang up the pads. From there I’d love to work for a college and continue to help people in finding their own path and provide the perfect place for their future success.
Wildcat11's Keys to Victory
Be ready to play a worthy opponent: Respect All, Fear None. Live that on Saturday. Be ready to play against a team this is looking to come into the 'Catdome and take something you've been working towards for years. Come out of the gate emotional and physically ready to play four full quarters of Linfield football.
Cash in on scoring opportunities: It's going to be key this game to make every trip down in the red zone count. Linfield has to come away with points when the chances present themselves. Leaving opportunities wasted could allow HSU to be in position late to steal this game.
Win 3rd down on both sides of the ball: Linfield has to be better this weekend with their 3rd down execution this week. It's vital for not only this Saturday but moving forward to be able to convert on this down. Get positive yardage early and set up those shorter 3rd down plays that allow the 'Cats to use more of the playbook. On the flip side, the 'Cats defense has made a killing on 3rd down over the past few seasons. HSU is going to get after the 'Cats secondary so it's vital to create those 3rd and longs.
Keep the pressure on: Hardin-Simmons Quarterback in a senior transfer from Southeaster Oklahoma State (DII) who is a dangerous QB. He has weapons around him and Linfield's defensive line is going to have a much stiffer test this weekend. Linfield's defensive front four have to be able to make things happen on their own to allow for more defenders to provide help in coverage. Big pass rush week for the 'Cats.
Balanced Offense Attack: Linfield's uptempo offense is most dangerous when the 'Cats can gash teams with both the run and pass. It keeps teams off balanced to have to honor the run while still accounting for the 'Cats passing attack. If Linfield can hit the right notes this weekend then I'm expecting a big offensive day.
DB's first air challenge: Last weekend our defensive back faced a big challenge in terms of scheme and making sound 1-on-1 tackles in the run game. This weekend is their first real challenge in the passing department. The Cowboys are going to try to run the ball but mainly are going to attack through the air. I believe this defensive back group is ready and Saturday is their first chance to prove it against a more traditional passing team.
'Cats by 10. I'm very much looking forward to this weekend. As I've stated over and over again the 'Cats are playing a worthy team in Hardin-Simmons that will bring their best effort on Saturday. I don't doubt that for an instant. However, if the 'Cats are able to iron out last weekend's issues this is a dangerous Linfield team. I'm looking for Linfield to hit some big offensive home runs this weekend and look for the 'Cats defense to fly around the 'Catdome making big plays.